Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Saw the Signs

Guest post and photos (except for anonymously contributed photo) by the Hawthorne Hawkman

I was driving around the neighborhood today during one of my constitutionally protected lunch/free speech breaks, and took note of some rather annoying signs.

Here is a brief explanation of the three above pictures...

The first is a Natalie Johnson Lee sign that graces a vacant property. I found this to be a fun juxtaposition because of her campaign slogan on the sign: "Because we all live here." When I looked at the property records online, it appears that 1254 Russell Ave N has been vacant since at least 2003. Graffiti adorns one of the doors (of COURSE I called it in to 311. I even used the facial expression known as my "311 face.")

This property also has a spray-painted message apparently critical of Don Samuels for the building's vacant status. What about its owners? Why haven't THEY done anything for the past six-plus years? Oh, and the current owner happens to be a Seventh-Day Adventist CHURCH with an address in Kansas City. I thought there were RULES about churches supporting political candidates. Someone ought to file a formal complaint.

The next two photos above are of 2623 23rd Ave N. Determining who owns this vacant property is a bit more problematic. The city website still lists an individual owner. But this is where my mortgage geek skills come in handy. Claude Worrell is the Realtor listed on one of the signs. Mr. Worrell almost never represents individual sellers in north Minneapolis; meaning that this property is likely in some degree of foreclosure and is now being sold by a lender.

The Hennepin County foreclosure website seems to show that this is indeed the case. While the redemption period hasn't expired yet, the vacant state of the property makes it likely that it was shortened from six months to five weeks and the public websites haven't caught up with this yet. Hmmm...I wonder if Kenya McKnight got permission from BAC Home Loans to put that sign there?

And THEN someone sent me this picture in the mail today. I had traumatic flashbacks after seeing what was left on the porch.

Then there were these two signs, which actually soothed me a bit:

First off, both of these houses are OCCUPIED, making it more likely that an ACTUAL SUPPORTER is aware of a lawn sign. Second, lawn signs in multiple languages is a good signal that this candidate reaches out to everyone who lives here. There is a sign in Hmong along 26th as well, but these two prove the point just fine.

And I should be just fine myself. I'm not too worried about repercussions for my political blogging this time around. That's because I'm wearing the hat.


Anonymous said...

OOOOOO! OOOOOO! OOOOOOO! *waving hand in air enthusiastically*

I know, I know! I know someone who likes to file formal complaints. Let's ask them to file a formal complaint for ya.

That's it, you gone and done it! said...

To be honest, the canidate probably just put it up there cause it is vacant....To post signs they have TO ask the owner of the property. But I am sure they didn't.

Anonymous said...

there are mcknight signs on broadway/logan north empty lots. I am not sure if the lots are city/county lots or private owned.

Anonymous said...

I pulled all the signs on lots and vacated houses. Just doing my usual GARBAGE pick up.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

For the record, I only pointed out highly questionable signs. There remains the possibility that those signs were appropriately placed on those properties.

Therefore, I must be clear that whoever pulled campaign signs from properties did so on their own volition and not with any support from this blog.

From a different thread, thanks to an anonymous poster for pointing out that this is a private blog. But I also do appreciate Adrian H's comments/questions. Even his concerns about whether I had been making political statements inappropriately were substantial and raised in a respectful way.

veg*nation said...

well, at least the mcknight signs are consistent with her campaign message of "the lights are on but NOBODY'S HOME."

Anonymous said...

don samuels Have his signs on city property in front of his house.
He didn't get permission.
I can't say im mad I exspect that from him...
kenya Mcknight november 3

Johnny Northside said...

The area you are referring to is known as the "boulevard," the grassy area between curb and sidewalk. However, in other cities the term "parkway" is sometimes used. It's a regional thing, I guess, like whether you get a beer chaser with a Bloody Mary.


The resident is responsible for maintaining that area. Don Samuels happens to have the most beautiful and well-maintained boulevard on Hillside Ave. N., with the possible exception of that of Michael "Kip" Browne. (And I helped with some of that landscaping, FYI)

If residents put political signs on their boulevard, that has always been allowed and tolerated. Don Samuels is a bright city official, and certainly wouldn't do something not allowed.

Nice desperate little reach, there.

Tuesday is going to be a big day. Take the day off from work. Drag all your friends to the polls. ALL OUT FOR ELECTION DAY! This is the election which will preserve and corral the progress we have made in North Minneapolis.

Molly MM said...

This is a delayed response, but Kenya McKnight certainly does not have permission to post her sign on 2623 23rd Ave N. I work on Claude's team and we would never approve that. The home is vacant and should not have ANY signs in the yard. Seems kind of sleazy to put up signs that imply supporters are present.